Very honored to have been invited to speak on a cinematography panel at DOC NYC in Manhattan this past week. The panel, called THE INVISIBLE CINEMATOGRAPHER PARADOX, was moderated by Amir Husak and other panelists included Iris Ng (Shirkers, Stories We Tell), Rudy Valdez (The Sentence), and Laela Kilbourn (This is Home, Swim Team). We discussed the concept of objectivity (and conversely, subjectivity) in documentary film and even geeked out about cameras a bit afterward. Thanks to Peter Cooper for the photo!
In other documentary news, I am in post-production on a new project… my first feature as a director. The film, Caravan, is “a seafaring tale about an anarchist theatre company attempting to disrupt the capitalist system.” I am super excited to have been one of a handful of films selected to pitch to funders and distributors at DOC NYC in NY in November. More updates to come as the film progresses… expected completion date is late 2019!
As Phantom Cowboys continues to play for festival audiences, we have been lucky enough to also be awarded a few jury prizes along the way. A huge thank you to both the New Hampshire and Lighthouse Film Festivals for awarding the film Best Feature Documentary, to the Sidewalk Film Festival for awarding us the Special Jury Prize for Cinematography, and the Tacoma Film Festival for giving Dan the Best Director award.
Also, check out our lovely new poster! Designed by the one and only Casper Newbolt at Version Industries.
Very exciting news! The feature documentary that I produced, shot and co-wrote with director Daniel Patrick Carbone, PHANTOM COWBOYS, will be premiering in competition at the Tribeca Film Festival in April.
This is a film that has been 10 years in the making, and we are very excited to finally be bringing it to audiences.
More info on PHANTOM COWBOYS and screening times can be found HERE.
When I first moved to London I was introduced to director Charlie Lyne, who had recent success with a couple of essay films, BEYOND CLUELESS and FEAR ITSELF. He showed me an early project that he had worked on with poet Ross Sutherland called STAND BY FOR TAPE BACKUP, and I was blown away. I asked Charlie to introduce me to Ross, and let them both know if they ever collaborated in the future I'd love to help out.
Fast forward a year, and the two had teamed up again for a commissioned piece for the BBC. It was going to be a "live" performance, where Ross would deliver a 30 minute sung-through monologue, timed to an episode of Eastenders that aired on a night that changed his life. The concept was unique and challenging, and like nothing else that I've ever seen on TV.
I knew right away I wanted to shoot it in a single, 30 minute take. It would complement the conceit nicely, and was a challenge I wanted to take on. We set up an Alexa Mini with a 24mm Zeiss Standard Speed to keep it light, and in order to keep the movement organically handheld (while still saving my back) we rigged the camera to an Easy Rig with a Serene arm and Flowcine Gravity One.
We rehearsed for 5 days, and shot 4 takes a night for 5 nights. 20 in total. We used the very last one.
From the Village Voice: "...the film is a bravura feat of choreography and music, staggeringly complex and almost unaccountably beautiful."
Here's the finished piece...
In advance of the new season of GOT, I was asked by TIME Magazine to shoot and direct a series of short films during the cover shoot with Miles Aldridge here in London. Had a great chat with Miles, it turns out that filmmaking was his first passion before his photography career took off. Here's one of the clips.
Had to keep this one secret for a while, but in February I had the pleasure of shooting an interview with Riz Ahmed for the TIME 100 Most Influential list. As you can see below, he is an incredibly charming and thoughtful individual. Huge congrats to everyone who made the list (seeing Samantha Bee on there was especially exciting)..
As we enter the first few weeks of the new year, I wanted to share a new film that I've been busy with for the past couple of months. I shot this short on the evening of the US election at The Lexington pub in London, and today it premiered at Short of the Week, and was selected as a Vimeo Staff Pick. It was also published at The Atlantic as an Editors' Pick.
From the review: "Election Night avoids agit-prop, and by doing so, it stands as one of the most objective takes on that election night that I’ve seen so far." You can watch the entire film below.
One of my favorite pieces I shot with Sam while at The Daily Show was from the 2012 RNC, so when I got asked to come back to the States to film this year's political conventions for the Full Frontal team it was a no brainer. In early July we hopped on a tour bus and took a trip to Cleveland, and crafted this little road movie titled "The Very Special Full Frontal Special." There were a lot of long days, but it was a blast to make and I want to give much deserved accolades to everyone who worked on it, from the talent to the writers to production to post (who turned it around in 3 days!). A brave and brilliant group indeed. Shot on the Sony FS7 with the Fujinon Cabrio 19-90 and a variety of cinema primes. Here's part one... enjoy!
It was a great pleasure to work with Jon and Sam at The Daily Show for nearly 8 years, so it was a very special moment when I was asked to be DoP for this short cold open for Full Frontal (also the last thing I filmed for the program before relocating to London last month). The video was picked up by Esquire, Time, CNN, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and within 24 hours had over a quarter of a million views on Youtube. Enjoy!
I have a bit of exciting news to announce… after 10 years in NYC I will be moving to the UK! Beginning July 2016 I will be based out of London, but still available as a director and director of photography for long term projects in the US.
Because I hold dual nationality in the US and Europe, I will easily be able to work for UK/European based productions in the US, and likewise for US productions throughout Europe without any need for a visa or international paperwork.
I feel quite privileged to be able to expand my commercial and filmmaking network in Europe, and I look forward to meeting new colleagues along the way. Please do reach out if you need help on a project, or if you would just like to connect! Cheers!